“It’s been pretty obvious from the stock price, but LinkedIn, which I’ve written about every so often, is really on a roll lately. The influencer content play (which I will admit I’ve been part of, in a small way) is a clear winner, the company is enjoying very positive press, and its premium services are getting really interesting as well.”
John Battelle is impressed and so am I.
LinkedIn has a clear vision and right now it seems to be doing everything right. I have said that for years: In a lot of ways LinkedIn is the biggest threat to Twitter.
“While a classic thin architecture moves processing to the server, enabling cheaper clients, those clients still have a GUI, mouse and keyboard. In other words, the experience is largely the same as a fat client, minus the superior performance and responsiveness. Tablets, however, are orthogonal to PCs; they are inferior in some ways (performance, text entry), but superior in others (size, battery life, touch). They have a reason-to-own other than price.
Thinking about capabilities beyond processing casts Microsoft’s Windows 8 troubles in stark relief. Windows 8, with it’s mixture of touch and WIMP-interface is the ultimate fat client. But by combining so many capabilities, it necessarily compromises them as well.
Today’s thin clients, on the hand, specialize. A pure tablet is superior for touch-based applications; a pure PC is superior for keyboard-and-mouse ones. An e-ink reader is superior for reading, and a 13-inch iPad would be superior for (in my case) drawing and making music. And while many people now use two devices, I think that’s only the beginning (I’m personally at four and the 13″ iPad would be number five).”
“What we need to recognize about today’s smartphone market is that although smartphones have high penetration in developed markets, we don’t have high penetration of mature smartphone owners. Many hundreds of millions of consumers are on their first or second smartphone; these customers have not yet had sufficient years of exposure to these devices for their preferences to coalesce. It makes sense, then, that we still see evidence in the market today of a certain percentage of people trying out different platforms in order to identify what they like and don’t like.”
I’ll tell you, I am grateful as hell for binge-watching. I am grateful that AMC and Sony took a gamble on us in the first place to put us on the air. But I’m just as grateful for an entirely different company that I have no stake in whatsoever: Netflix. I don’t think you’d be sitting here interviewing me if it weren’t for Netflix. In its third season, Breaking Bad got this amazing nitrous-oxide boost of energy and general public awareness because of Netflix. Before binge-watching, someone who identified him- or herself as a fan of a show probably only saw 25 percent of the episodes. X-Files fans would say to me, “I love that show. I’m a big fan.” I’d say, “Well, did you see this episode?” “No. I didn’t see that one. Which ones did you write?” And every episode they’d mention would be one I didn’t write. But it’s a different world now.
“The Linux kernel trumps the moonshot both in terms of engineering effort and societal impact by a few orders of magnitude. The kernel is the largest, most complex collaborative effort in the history of the species. That may sound somewhat grandiose, but it’s very much true. The Linux kernel is over 17 million lines of code and is growing at an average rate of 3,500 lines per day. Nearly 1,300 developers contribute to Linux with versions like 2.6.25 generating more than 12,000 patches. The Linux kernel powers over 93% of the TOP500 Supercomputers. The kernel is at the heart of Android which has a nearly 60% share of the mobile operating system market with 1.5 million device activations a day. The kernel also powers millions of servers across companies that have transformed the way we consume information and communicate with one another such as Yahoo, Google, Facebook, and Twitter.”
An extensive look at the future of Facebook’s business by Kurt Eichenwald for Vanity Fair. As he notes:
Then came the miracle of television. And once again, advertisers were flummoxed. Photographs and drawings on signs and in newspapers—sure. Ad copy read over the radio airwaves—got it. But television, with moving pictures—what were they supposed to do with that?
The thought that advertising won’t work online in a variety of ways is and has always been a joke. It needs to be different depending on the format (mobile vs. desktop web, etc). But with so many eyeballs, it will be bigger than all of the other mediums. Probably combined. Soon.
“This prediction sounds bold primarily for the fact that most of us don’t think about technology – or the history of technology – in century-long increments: “We’re probably closer to the end of the automobility era than we are to its beginning,” says Maurie Cohen, an associate professor in the Department of Chemistry and Environmental Science at the New Jersey Institute of Technology. “If we’re 100 years into the automobile era, it seems pretty inconceivable that the car as we know it is going to be around for another 100 years.””
“Consider that the PC has historically been purchased by IT departments which led to a monoculture of Windows which led to a persistent leadership for Microsoft.
The music player created dominance around iTunes mostly because the distribution model for music labels was baked-in. With network effects, the iPod quickly gained and perpetually retained market share leadership.
The smartphone business initially favored Symbian and BlackBerry because they had the market access through operators. After the touch UI became dominant (and incumbents failed to respond in a timely manner), Apple and Google took leadership as soon as they accepted the operator distribution model. Android in particular is especially resonant with operators and has been developed with their requirements in mind.
The tablet business is more like the PC business but without enterprise requirements or patterns of purchase. This has meant that app/content ecosystems and retail distribution were the key gating factors. The story is still unfolding but so far Microsoft has not found a foothold while iOS and Android and Amazon have.
That leads to the question of how will smart TVs be sold and which business model (or go-to-market strategy) will succeed.”
“The key point is that the code without the community that creates it is pretty much dead. A company may gain a short-term advantage in taking public domain code and enclosing it, but by refusing to give back its changes, it loses any chance of collaborating with the coders who are writing the future versions. It will have no influence, and no way of raising issues of particular concern that help it with its products. Instead, it will have to keep up the development of its own version of the code single-handed. That’s likely to be costly at best, and may even be impossible except for the very largest companies (Apple is an example of one that has succeeded, basing its Mac OS X operating system on the free BSD version of Unix.)”